Plaisir de Merle Merlot is made from 100% Merlot. Plaisir de Merle is a historic South African winery. It was etablished by the French Huguenots in 1693 on the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains between Paarl and Franschhoek
A Distell showpiece, this 974 hectare estate in Simondium, Paarl, has earned international acclaim for its white and red wines. Winemaker since 1993 is Niel Bester who attributes the benefits of working with great fruit coming from a very unique terrain and the invaluable input from his viticulture team. A particular high-point early in his winemaking career was working a harvest at Château Mârgaux in Bordeaux under the seminal influence of Dr Paul Pontallier. Dr Pontallier continued to consult with Plaisir de Merle for over a decade, visiting South Africa at least once a year to taste and blend with Niel.
The Plaisir de Merle estate consists of around 400 hectares of vineyards planted with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz and Malbec, although only about 80 hectares are used for Plaisir de Merle wines. The grapes for the Plaisir de Merle Merlot are hand-harvested from 2 vineyards located between 140m and 370m above sea level on the south-eastern slopes of the Simonsberg. The grapes were fermented in stainless steel vats with a daily pumping over. Upon completion of fermentation the wine was left on the skins for about 10 to macerate. The wine was racked off and malolactic fermentation was completed in the tanks and barrels. Plaisir de Merle Merlot is matured in 33% new, 48% second-fill and 29% third-fill French oak barrels for periods ranging between 12 and 16 months. Finally all the individual barrels were tasted and evaluated to select the final blend.